Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.
The 2019-20 Wisconsin Legislature was officially inaugurated on Monday. Gov. Tony Evers was sworn into office, along with members of the legislature, which will remain in Republican hands. Get to know Evers's staff and new legislators in this first Political Tidbits of 2019. Also in this edition:
Assembly Republicans Lay Out Issue Areas for Potential Compromise With Evers
On Jan. 10, Assembly Republicans sent Gov. Tony Evers a letter laying out several issue areas on which they hope to work with the Democratic governor in the 2019-20 session. The list includes several items Evers discussed during his campaign.
Evers Issues Medicaid Expansion, Pre-existing Conditions EOs
In some of the first executive actions of his term, Gov. Evers this week signed two executive orders directing state agencies to implement plans for expanding Medicaid and prohibiting pre-existing conditions exclusions in health insurance. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin legislature could take action again on state-level pre-existing conditions legislation in the coming weeks.
On Dec. 28, the Department of Health Services (DHS) sent the Joint Finance Committee an update on the state's Medicaid budget that projects Medicaid benefits costs will be below budgeted levels by $212.7 million GPR by the end of 2017-19.
Get to Know a Freshman: Sen. Smith & Reps. Cabrera and Dittrich
Eighteen new members were officially inaugurated into the Wisconsin Legislature on Jan. 7, 2019. Over the next several weeks, HCG will highlight each new member of the legislature. This week, meet Sen. Smith and Reps. Marisabel Cabrera (D-Milwaukee) and Barbara Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc).
Senate and Assembly leadership have finalized committee assignments for the 2019-20 session. There are several new committees in each chamber of the legislature, as well as changes to chairs and membership of existing committees going into the new session. Below are links to lists of all committees and members:
On Jan. 9, the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety and the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety held a joint hearing on a bill that would elevate victims' rights under Wisconsin law. Assembly Joint Resolution 1 and Senate Joint Resolution 2, authored by Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) and Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), proposes a Wisconsin constitutional amendment that would explicitly give to victims rights equal to the rights of the accused.
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